If you chose to click on this blog post, then maybe morning anxiety is something you encounter too. Mornings are a very important part of our day because they set the tone for everything that follows. But with anxiety kicking in before day even begins, life can feel hard to control. This doesn’t mean we’re weak. It just means that we have to work a little harder to ease our bodies out of fight or flight mode.
My therapist once told me that the first step to easing anxiety is to accept that it’s present—instead of telling myself it’s going to ruin my day, I start listening to my body instead. I take a second to reflect on my patterns, emotions, and triggers. What is making me feel unsettled? Even if you cannot pinpoint exactly where your anxiety is stemming from to face it head-on, there are some everyday practices that help calm my nervous system, leading me to a more grounded day.
Here are some morning tips that can help ground and elevate your day:
Food BEFORE Coffee
- I don’t care if every Instagram influencer begins their morning with only a cup black coffee. A stimulant alone is not the answer. While coffee may be necessary to get the day start, it also can fire up the nervous system. Drinking water and eating nourishing foods before ingesting coffee will help supplement your jitters.
Prep Things The Night Before
- Rushing around in the morning trying to accomplish 20 tasks in 30 minutes before leaving the house is a recipe for anxiety. Increasing your heart rate due to stress not only frazzles your mind, it jump starts your fight or flight mode. To avoid this, especially on mornings where you have an early start, try planning things out the night before. Sometimes I’ll meal prep my breakfast or lay out an outfit just to give myself a more easy-going morning.
- Think of mindfulness as your anxiety safety net. The more we focus on what we can control, the less we feel uneasy about what we cannot. Mindfulness slows down racing thoughts and keeps us in touch with the present moment. In my journal, I write down one bullet point that describes how I’m feeling in the present moment. Next, I write down a bullet point about something beautiful I witnessed (from that morning or the day before). Lastly, the third bullet point is a mindful manifestation for how I will choose to go about the rest of my day. Examples: I will make decisions confidently today, I will be present and active in my meetings today, I will take small breaks when I need them. Mindfulness journaling can take as little as 2 minutes or as long as 30 minutes—depending on how fast-paced your morning is!
- Starting your day with an extra boost of serotonin can be a game changer! Do what you can to feel good. If it’s taking a quick walk around the block, stretching inside, or completing a full routine at the gym, movement is what we’re trying to achieve.
Make Your Bed
- This one might sound so simple, but that’s what makes it an easy win for the day. There are studies that directly link making your bed with completing more tasks in the day. It’s the power of habit. In relation to anxiety, seeing organization in your space will help you be more productive and less overwhelmed. The little things go a long way. Also, the feeling of coming home to a clean space makes post-work relaxation a much smoother process.
Anxious mornings don’t need to taint the day! While I know anxiety is harder to shake off some days more than others, it’s about finding the little wins that can recenter your state of mind. Our minds are powerful tools and they’re most impressionable in the morning. If you can implement morning grounding mechanisms that reduce fight or flight mode, you will start to notice huge improvements in the morning AND for the rest of your day.
Author: Shei Marcelline